WASHINGTON – In 2022, Equitable Food Initiative, BB #:385632 the workforce development and certification organization that partners with growers, farmworkers, retailers and consumer groups, marked a year of growth, new partnerships and promising tools to transform the produce industry and improve the lives of farmworkers.
The past year brought increased recognition of EFI’s rigorous certification program, combined with preparation to support new initiatives and growth.
EFI’s impact on the produce industry continues to grow. It had certified 53 operations in five countries by the close of the year. There were 19 more farms currently in development. Together those operations employ nearly 60,000 workers, and EFI’s premium program generated over $3.2 million in worker bonuses last year.
The cornerstone of EFI’s model is the training of worker-manager “leadership teams” in the problem-solving skills they need to keep their farms in compliance with the program’s rigorous labor, food safety and pest management standards. EFI’s ability to provide in-person, on farm training was restored after the COVID crisis. Grower-shippers have the option to receive a virtual or hybrid training experience.